Re: Romans 3:22-23

Date: Wed Oct 04 1995 - 18:03:04 EDT

Timothy Bratton wrote;
> But this verse just doesn't make sense. If the aorist tense is understood
> as a one time completed action in the past, how could "all have sinned."
> Paul perhaps taking some poetic license here?

I would agree with others who have suggested that you are using the aorist in
too restricted a sense. I think also that Frank Stagg published an article
in the JBL years ago entitled, "The Abused Aorist."

In Brooks & Winbery Romans 3:23 is used as an example of the Gnomic Aorist
(I'm not sure what Prof. Whatmouth would call it). By Gnomic we take it to
be a statement of a general maxim, i.e., something that is universally true.
 Remember the sentence begins in vs. 22, "There is no distinction (between
Jew and Gentile) because all sin and continually come short of the glory of
God." This is the summation of the point that Paul has been making since
1:18. Don't think of aorist as "one time" action or as all in the past. It
can be but often is not.

I hope Ellen gets her toilet fixed.

Carlton Winbery
Pineville, LA

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